Saturday 14 December, 2019

Jamaican family loses two young children in Florida crash

The Bennett children who perished in a crash in Florida on Sunday.

The Bennett children who perished in a crash in Florida on Sunday.

A Jamaican family has been plunged into mourning following a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 95 in Deerfield, Florida on Sunday that claimed the lives of two sisters ages two and five years.

Two-year-old Akeena Bennett died on Sunday after being rushed to the Broward Health Medical Centre, while her five-year-old sister, Keanna, succumbed to her injuries on Monday after being placed on life support at the same hospital.

“Our little Keanna fought a good fight this past 24 hours,” her grief-stricken mother, Annette, wrote on Facebook at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday as she shared the heart-wrenching news that her other daughter had died from her injuries.

“She gain(ed) her precious little wings 13 minutes ago,” the mother said.

The crash shut down southbound Interstate 95 at Southwest 10th Street in North Broward for hours on Sunday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said neither child was in a car seat. It is not known yet if either child was wearing a seat belt.

On Monday, the children’s parents who are said to be from Clarendon, set up a GoFundMe page. Under a picture of the smiling sisters in matching dresses, Annette and Carlos wrote: “Our Children are gone. We are totally broken.”

By Monday night, the page had raised US$13,000 of a US$25,000 goal. It has since raised more than US$20,000.

“This is going to be a long road ahead of us and we need your support. I have seen the calls and the messages asking how you can help. Please continue to pray for us and our family. If you are able to, come see us. Please come be with us, and if you are able to help us financially, please, please help us. No amount is too big or too small,” the girls’ parents said.

The children were on their way to a church service with their godmother, 34-year-old Rashida Raby of Deerfield Beach, when the crash occurred, according to media reports. The girls’ parents were reportedly at a wedding in New York.

Raby was taken to the hospital to be evaluated, while the driver of the other car, 26-year-old Zachary Schott of Illinois, was treated at the scene.

It was not clear Monday what led to the crash.

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